Governorship candidates of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Pastor Umo Eno and Young People Party (YPP) senator Bassey Albert did not show up on Wednesday for the peace accord meeting for all gubernatorial candidates of political parties in the state ahead of the governorship election in the state.
The peace parley was organized by the Akwa Ibom State Elders Council headed by former governor of the state Obong Victor Attah to check the excesses of governorship candidates at the ongoing campaigns and during the election later in March.
Nine(9) governorship candidates of political parties in the state signed the Peace deal before the state Council of Elders to ensure peaceful elections in the state.
The peace accord was signed shortly after discussing their programmes of action for the state and why they want to be elected as governors, as well as interacting with the Council of Elders, at the main auditorium of the E-library, IBB Way, Uyo, the venue of the event.
Those who signed the peace Accord were Mr Iboro Otu of the African Action Congress (AAC), Arc. Ezekiel Nya-Etok of African Democratic Congress (ADC), Ekere Essien of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and Obong Ita Ekpo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Others were Senator John James Akpanudoedehe of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Mr, Akan Ekpeyong of the Boot Party (BP) Ime Koffi of Accord Party (AP) and Nsikak Thomas of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), and candidate of Allied People’s Movement (APM).
The candidates assured that the election in the state shall be devoid of any form of violence and that their members and supporters including the youths shall conduct campaigns, rallies and meetings in accordance with the provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act and other extant Laws.
They also accepted, as leaders of their respective parties to eschew the use of foul and provocative language, hate speech that may provoke violent reactions and emotion during their campaigns.
They further assured that in the event of any violence occasioned by their parties, candidates or members, or any breach of the Accord they should be held responsible and accountable for such violence or breach to security agencies in the state, among other pledges.
In his remarks, Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Council of Elders, Obong Victor Attah, explained that the interactive meeting was put in place to allow all the contestants to tell Akwa Ibom people why they want to be the next governor.
Attah who expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the interaction noted that the elders also want a situation where when one of the contestants wins the 2023 election and others will come together to work as a team.
Fielding questions from newsmen at the end of the event Attah described the absence of notable governorship candidates in the state especially that of PDP as regrettable.
“It is just regrettable that he is not here. I really don’t know why. I thank those of you that honoured the invitation of the Council. However, this peace accord is binding even on those that are absent” Attah asserted.
Asked whether the interaction with the candidates met his expectation Attah responded:
“I believe the meeting is really wonderful. And it is regrettable that people either gave a wrong interpretation or had high suspicion and therefore stayed away.
“Those that have come have seen the benefits of coming. I believe that next time they will be better informed and that they will come. Akwa Ibom people are now better enlightened about their candidates”.
But the Secretary of the Council, Elder Moses Essien in his remarks said the gathering could not have come at a better time than now when the people are yearning for visionary, dynamic, patriotic and result-oriented leadership with the capacity to build and transform the state.
The Vice Chairman of the Council and former Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Chief Nduese Essien in his vote of thanks appreciated Obong Attah for putting the meeting in place.
He also appreciated members of the Council as well as the candidates for being in attendance, adding: “I am impressed with the seriousness which you all have shown and I believe you have benefitted from this meeting” he said.
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